Sports

Harvick takes Texas to clinch championship spot

Harvick takes Texas to clinch championship spot

Truex Jr.is the driver who Almirola trails by 57 points, and Almirola has no way of passing his point total in the Can-Am 500 without winning the race.

Harvick led 177 of the 337 laps during the event, and appeared on his way to an easy win after passing leader Ryan Blaney with 17 laps remaining. We finally knocked that barrier down (with a win in last year's Playoff race at TMS).

Harvick and Joey Logano will make up half of the championship field in two weeks in Florida while the other two spots will be set next weekend in Arizona. Like I told you guys before the race, we don't race for points. Buescher's JTG-Daugherty organization is using a Hendrick Motorsports engine for the first time next season.

Logano flew off-line on the restart as Harvick got a stellar jump to beat Blaney. Choosing to take the higher lane, he pulled away from Blaney and was never seriously challenged for first place.

"I thought if I could keep him from finishing the corner I could drive back by him", Harvick said. "Today we earned our way in and we're going to go and race again next week and try to win another race and see what we can do at Homestead". We got by him one restart and I just couldn't hold him off. ... "We went in side-by-side". I figured when he took the top, it was going to take a really good push and position into 1 to have a prayer at it. "Obviously Blaney had a good restart and we're not taking the bottom anymore".

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Harvick was the only one of so-called Big Three to avoid trouble on Sunday. Elliott was sixth, followed by Kurt Busch and Almirola, who had also gone to the rear at the start of the race for unapproved body modifications.

Kyle Busch drew an early speeding penalty entering pit road and later had to make an unscheduled pit stop because of a loose wheel. Kurt Busch found himself in third as a result, giving the Las Vegas-native an opportunity to advance in the running order.

A caution with 38 laps to go created an interesting kink in the pit strategy of many who debated whether or not to pit for tires and fuel, that being the looming question mark throughout Sunday's race.

Rounding out the top five were non-playoff drivers Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing. Truex Jr.is the driver who is now on the bubble right above the Championship 4 cut line, as he trails Busch by three points.

Bowyer was involved in first-lap rub with Denny Hamlin.


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